The remarks by Ana León, president of the Children’s Protection Agency (PANI), regarding sexual abuse among minors in shelters caused surprise and criticism from the legislators.
When asked about a case of abuse among minors in La Fortuna de San Carlos, León said that
those events are not common but sometimes happen… There are sex games among them that constitute abuses.”
José Ramírez, legislator from Frente Amplio, doubted the situation was uncommon and acknowledged that PANI’s board needs more staff and mobile units.
Humberto Vargas, from the party Unidad Social Cristiana, considered that was not the correct way to refer to the issue and advised León to be careful.
Other legislators also admitted it seemed León was minimizing the severity of the problem, even if it wasn’t her intention.
Meanwhile, PANI faces difficulties that also prevent it from fighting sexual exploitation of children on the streets because the law requires the agency to use labeled operating vehicles, and because the legal age of consent is 15 years old.